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Holiday Respite….

From my house to yours, from my family to yours, the Merriest of Christmas’s, the Happiest of New Years, and may your holiday season be filled with love, laughter, joy and family. ~ Peg

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Historical Romance author Jenna Jaxon visits today. #GoddessFishBlogTourBlast

What a treat for me – and YOU!!- today. I’ve got A Kenstington/Lyrical Press writing-sistah with me talking about her newest historical romance, plus she’s giving away a little prize. I met and sat next to Jenna Jaxon   at a book signing last year in Denver and had the most enjoyable 2 hours with her. She is open, engaging, witty, and a delight!!!! She’s here today with a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from her newest book WHAT A WIDOW WANTS. Sit back and delight in this new entry in The Widow’s Club series.

WHAT A WIDOW WANTS

by Jenna Jaxon

 

 

GENRE: Historical Romance

BLURB:

Widowed by the Battle of Waterloo, the ladies of Lyttlefield Park are returning to London society—with their futures in their own hands . . .

The widowed Lady Stephen Tarkington, Fanny to her friends, has finished mourning her cad of a husband and is ready to enjoy her freedom. The kind of freedom neither a gently bred miss nor a close-watched wife is permitted: dressing up as Aphrodite for a masquerade, drawing gentlemen away from the party, and hinting at late-night assignations with her dance partners. All is going pleasurably according to plan—until the Roman god Fanny kisses during a masquerade turns out to be Matthew, Lord Lathbury, whose proposal she refused years ago . . .

Lathbury is charming, passionate, inventive, everything Fanny wants in a lover—but unfortunately, he’s on the hunt for a wife. He’s more than willing to use all his wicked skills to persuade her back to the altar, but he can’t wait forever. And now Fanny’s position is more precarious than she once thought. If the tongues of the ton set to wagging, it’s possible no offer in the world will save her from ruin. But does she want to be saved? . . .

Excerpt 

Leaning into him, she whispered, “We can renew our acquaintance in all ways that count.”

“So you’ll agree to bed me but not wed me?”

“For the moment.” She tapped her fingers lightly on his chest. “Would that be such a hardship on you?”

Sighing, he pulled a face. “I suppose not.” A flash of his boyish grin made her stomach drop. “May I woo you properly, at least?”

“Improperly would be more to my taste.” Fanny returned his smile with one of her own, as sultry and seductive as she could make it. “But I suppose some decorous behavior wouldn’t kill me either.”

“Good.” He took her hands and raised them to his lips. “I leave for Brighton at the end of the week. I’d hoped you’d be accompanying me as my wife, but that—”

“As your wife?” How arrogant of him to think she’d fall into his arms at the snap of his fingers.

“Well? Will you meet me in Brighton?” Matthew’s eager voice brought her back to the dim room now filled with possibilities.

“I will be happy to journey to Brighton, my lord. If I find you there, I do hope you will attend me most earnestly.” In a heart’s beat she slipped her hands from his, pulled his lips down to hers, and sealed the pact with a kiss so warm and sweet her resolve slipped a notch. “And now if you’ll excuse me?” Turning swiftly on her toes, Fanny raced for the door. As she grasped the handle, she glanced back at him.

The victorious grin on his face sent a shiver down her spine. She pulled the door open and fled into the corridor before she could change her mind.

Buy Links: Amazon /// B&N 

 

AUTHOR Bio 

 

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical romance in all time periods because, she says, “passion is timeless.” She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, Jenna has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She’s a theatre director when she’s not writing and lives in Gloucester, Virginia with her family, including two very vocal cats and one silent one.

Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as an active member of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. She has four series currently available: The House of Pleasure, set in Georgian England, Handful of Hearts, set in Regency England, and Time Enough to Love, set in medieval England and France, and The Widows’ Club series, also set in Regency England and available from Kensington Publishing in both print and digital.

She currently writes to support her chocolate habit.

Connect with Jenna here:

Blog // Twitter // Facebook // Amazon //

And, as promised, Jenna is offering a #20.00 Amazon /BN GC. Just follow this link to the rafflecopter to enter.

 

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So this happened…..

A few weeks ago I was honored to be included in a podcast of TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK hosted and run by the fabulous and talented Stephen Lomer. I had sososos omuch fun doing it, even though I look wicked nervous and antsy!!! If you  have a few free minutes, give it a watch. Here’s the link: TMAYDB

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A new book from #author Cerian Hebert; #GoddessFishTour

 

Today I’ve got author and fellow NHRWA chapter-mate, Cerian Hebert visiting with me via her Goddess Fish Tour, and sharing a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from her new release THE STORM WITHIN.

 

The Storm Within

BLURB: 

Healed from her own loss, Juliana Hopkins wants nothing more than to mend reclusive artist Aidan Byrne’s heart, and help close a chapter in his life that has haunted him for over twenty years. Risking their newfound love, Juliana is determined to release the ghosts he can’t let go.

Aidan has been in love with Juliana since the first moment he saw her, but if she can’t leave the tragedies of his past alone, he won’t be able to make a life with her.

She offers him a love he never dared to want, but loving her could rip open all the old wounds he’d never been able to heal.

EXCERPT

Aidan stared at her, only inches away from him in the tiny bathroom. The bloodied cotton ball tight in her grip, she’d broken down into heavy sobs.

He wasn’t sure how to handle it. Weeping women weren’t his specialty. Hell, women in general weren’t his specialty, and now he felt completely at a loss on how to comfort her.He’d sensed her earlier mood, when their eyes had locked in the mirror. At that moment, restless awareness turned into a new sort of tension. She’d been so close to him that he could smell the clean fragrance of her shampoo and feel her warm, tea scented breath on his neck. Fighting a similar attraction, he understood why she’d resorted to anger. He would’ve done the same thing in her shoes. Anger he could handle. Tears? That was a different story.

Quickly he grabbed a few sheets of Kleenex from the box on the back of the toilet and handed them to her. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you cry. Really, it doesn’t hurt,” he said softly.

Juliana wiped the tissue across her eyes and didn’t look at him. “It’s not that,” she replied with a catch in her voice. “It’s the stupidity of you driving out there. Crazy and irresponsible. You should’ve gotten a lot more than a dumb little scratch on your face. You could’ve been killed, and you could’ve killed Fred.”

Buy Link: Amazon

AUTHOR Bio 

Originally from Minnesota, Cerian is currently settled in southwestern New Hampshire with her husband and two of her four children plus a dog, cat and two geckos. She’s known she wanted to write since she was twelve, and between mucking stalls in New York and booking cruises in Maine, she’s been filling notebooks and flash drives with her stories in pursuit of her dreams.

Currently she has 10 published books (No Going Back, Where One Road Leads, The Staying Kind, Going Going Gone, and  The Storm Within from Soul Mate Publishing, and The Better Man, Do Overs, Finally Home, Light The Way Home, and That Kind of Magic self-published at Amazon). She’s looking forward to adding to this list.

Cerian is a PAN member of RWA, Contemporary Romance Writers and New Hampshire Romance Writers of America.

Connect with Cerian here:

Website: www.cerianhebert.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ceriansbooks/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CerianHebert
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/cerian0022/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/CerianHebert
Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Ceri-Hebert/e/B003NTI0HU

 

**********GIVEAWAY 

Cerian Hebert will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

And here’s a peak at my thoughts on the book:

4 well deserved stars

Cerian Hebert has delivered a very satisfying addition to the Soul Mate Tree series. I love a book where both the heroine and hero have tragic pasts that lead them to the place they currently are – emotionally, spiritually, and romantically.

At first. widow Julianna and Aidan don’t appear as if they will connect on any kind of plane. But Hebert’s mastery of the slow build of emotional layers, does, in fact, make them perfect for one another. I was fully invested in the characters and the story line from the first page. Well done!

And I’m a sucker for a book that has a dog as a foile character!

4 well deserved stars for this book.

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A visit with #author Rachelle Paige Campbell

 

 

When I get the chance to meet a new-to-me-fellow-author, and she’s a Wild Rose Press sistah, well, my day is just about complete! Today, I’ve got author Rachelle Paige Campbell visiting me, talking about stuff in general, and in her newest release from WRP, A PERFECT PICTURE OF US. 

So sit back, have a cup of liquid warmth and get to know all about this prolific author.

Rachelle: The Writer 

  1. What drives you to write? I love to write. I’m one of the classic I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid authors. Writing is an extension of my soul and I can’t imagine taking away that part of myself.
  2. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write sweet contemporary romance. I am intrigued by what makes people tick and why we make the choices that define our lives. I love coming up with a concept and fleshing out the motivations. Often I start from a what if scenario and let my imagination run. Writing sweet is a complicated dance between sexual tension and innuendo. I like the challenge.
  3. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Regency set stories were the books that led me into the wonderful world of romance. I love romance books and I read a little bit of everything: contemporary, historical, paranormal, inspirational, etc. The books I pick up have varying levels of heat. I never say “I don’t read” about any book in the genre because that’s not true?
  4. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday?  I’m blessed to stay home with my kids. My youngest started kindergarten this year. I work during the week while they’re at school and enjoy my evenings and weekends with my kids and husband. I am always working on something. If I’m not actively writing a first draft, I’m outlining another project or revising.
  5. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I used to write in the laundry room. (I converted a closet into a desk.) Recently, my husband bought me a desk and set me up in front of the window in our guest room. I am no longer fighting piles of dirty clothes for real estate and have a door I can shut (and lock).
  6. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision?   I can work with noise, but not with my family talking. If a television is on, I can focus and tune out the distractions. But if my husband or children are speaking (even if it’s to each other and I’m not involved), I can’t ignore them.
  7. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? When my kids were home and I could only get maybe thirty minutes of writing in at a time, I trained myself to write to music. I utilized the music to cue my brain to turn on and work. I listen to a lot of instrumental music (I love Ramin Djawadi’s soundtracks). On some projects, I listen to a specific playlist designed with the characters preferences in mind.
  8. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? When I planned my wedding eleven years ago, I started looking for inspiration on the Internet. I came across a ton of lifestyle bloggers around my age planning their own weddings. I became a fan and read their entries. After the weddings, many had kids the same time I had my first. I shared in the commiseration of parenting’s ups and downs. I noticed a fascinating trend of bloggers gaining traction (and income) from major companies and growing disconnected from their audiences. When you are selling the image of a lifestyle and being just like you, but now have means far exceeding the target demographic, how are you relatable? This story starts with a blogger eager to get out from the expectations she created.
  9. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Plot comes first. I usually have an idea of the “type” of story I want to write (holiday, second chance, etc.) and come up with the outline. As I develop the bones, I think of the characters. I continue to refine the hero and heroine long after I finish my first draft. I give myself plenty of time to revise because I understand them even more after I’ve written the end.
  10. What 3 words describe you, the writer?  Persistent, passionate, and optimistic   I love writing and work hard every day. I am blessed to have the ability to pursue my dream and I don’t take the opportunity for granted.

Rachelle, The Gal

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!
    1. When I was 22, I moved to London for graduate school and lived in a dorm run by nuns.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you?
    1. My kids aren’t reading, right? (They asked me to list my boyfriends before their father the other day!) I’d say real first love was college around nineteen.
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….
    1. I love the holidays and if I had to choose one, I’d pick Fourth of July. In the morning, our street holds a breakfast block party, the parade goes right by my house, we spend the rest of the day grilling and running through sprinklers, and end riding our bikes to the park to watch the fireworks.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?
    1. Boxer-briefs
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?
    1. My beauty routine is fairly slim (and most days non-existent). Maybe I’d give up my concealer because no amount of disguise can hide my Mom-exhaustion.
  6. What three words describe you, the person?
    1. Family-oriented, hard working, and again persistent. I don’t give up easy and was taught to value effort more than anything else.
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?
    1. I would sing his song “Idiot Boyfriend.” But maybe I’d stick to playing the drums, my singing voice is admittedly terrible.
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together?
    1. I think Lydia Bennet is probably a lot of fun. She makes bad choices, but she has a good time doing so. I’d take her shopping on Michigan Avenue. She’d buy something outrageous and hit on every guy she passed. We’d laugh the whole day.

 

Bonus round

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound My kids’ laughter
  2. Least favorite sound Alarm clock
  3. Best song ever written Every song on O.K. Computer
  4. Worst song ever written Remember that song “Friday” on Youtube?
  5. Favorite actor and actress Actor: Edward Norton Actress: Claire Foy
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) I’m so fascinated by what makes other authors tick. I’d love a glimpse inside Julia Quinn’s brilliant mind.
  7. What turns you on? Consideration (ha—can you tell my heroes are betas?)
  8. What turns you off?  Sleazy lines.
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “What is your friend’s name?”
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? A perfect day is sleeping in (7am, ha), drinking coffee someone else brewed, taking my dog for a long walk, writing for a few hours, then spending the afternoon with my family on a bike ride, a picnic, working on a puzzle, anything we do together.

 

A PERFECT PICTURE OF US

 

Chicago lifestyle blogger, Jess Edwards, built a successful brand based on the pursuit of perfection. From throwing a party to decorating a home, every post is magazine spread worthy. Leo Martinelli, the law school study partner she never mustered the nerve to kiss, shows up in the middle of a photo shoot, and she’s thrilled for the reunion—until he serves her with a lawsuit.

Attorney Leo never thought he’d see Jess again, not after she disappeared halfway through the first semester. For the past ten years, he’s measured every woman who’s crossed his path against her. This meeting is his chance to say good-bye and finally move on from his unrequited crush—before relocating overseas.

To salvage her reputation, Jess has no intention of settling.  To obtain the future he’s worked hard for, Leo can’t lose.

Excerpt:

“Jess, I shouldn’t have come. I really can’t give you too much information,” he said, suddenly unsure.

Still gorgeous. Still unattainable. Sitting prim and proper, with her legs and arms crossed, Jessica Edwards was every inch a lady. He remembered being in awe of her the first semester of law school. He’d never have approached her. He’d never been exposed to a person like her. The woman was so sure of herself, so perfect, and yet, so kind. She shouldn’t be real. She should have some terrible hidden secret. But he’d never found any during their time as study partners when she’d asked for his help.

“I’m being sued, right? You’re here to serve me papers?” she asked, shaking the envelope.

He scanned her big blue eyes, searching for any hint of what she might be feeling. Her words, delivered without any emotion, gave him no hint about what turmoil might lie beneath. He’d been good at reading people but oddly never her. “Jess, have your legal team review the case.” He lowered his voice, softening his words. He’d never been sued, and he’d never put himself in the position of the other party, until now. He rubbed the palm of his hand against his heart. Something ached at her reaction. “The papers are in order. The process is fairly cut and dried.”

“Maybe to you, but to me? I don’t need drama, Leo. I don’t need complications right now.”

Buy Links: The Wild Rose Press // B&N // ibooks // Amazon

Author Bio:

Rachelle Paige Campbell writes contemporary romance filled with heart and hope. No matter the location–big city, small town, or European kingdom–her feel-good stories always end with a happily ever after. She’s grateful for the support of her family, her robot floor cleaner, and her reluctant writing partner (her dog

Sign up for the newsletter to find out about upcoming releases and exciting announcements: http://eepurl.com/dEjzZz

You can connect with Rachelle here:

Goodreads // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter //Bookbub //Website

Peggy here: Rachelle, thanks so much for dropping by today. Your books sounds amazeballs and I’m sure it’s gonna do amazeballs!

 

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It’s here!! Christmas & Cannolis is livelivelive!!!

I swear, having a book released is the equivalent of giving birth but without the stretch marks. Well… in my case, since I stress eat so much whenever one of my babies is released out into the book reading world and typically gain 10 pounds, that’s not exactly true!!!

ANYHOO!!!!
Christmas and Cannolis, Regina San Valentino’s story, is finally livelivelive. I found out yesterday that InD’Tail Magazine reviewed it and gave it a 4 star rating!!! That is huge, peeps, and a perfect way for me to start release day!

Today I’m all over cyberworld doing interviews and talking about the book. Here are some of the links to where I’ll be:

Fabulous and Brunette via my Goddess Fish tour

NNLight’s Bookheaven

I’m over on LoveRomanceReads with a Regina-worthy recipe for a Yule Log

I’m visiting fellow Wild Rose sistah Jennifer Wilck today, talking about writing and stuff!

And I’m on my lovely and talented friend and WRP sistah, Katie O’Sullivan again.

Buy Links:  Amazon // Wild Rose Press // B&N // Kobo// Google Play

 

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One more day!!!!

I’m so excited! One more day until CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS releases into the book-loving ROMCOM world. Today, I’m over at Journeys with Jana, talking about my favorite scene from the book and READ YOUR WRITES BOOK REVIEW Blog as part of my Goddess Fish tour.

Stop by and leave me some love!!!

 

With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him.

Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company’s reputation—in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.

Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?

Excerpt:

It had been a long, long time since a guy’s hands had been on me in anything resembling a carnal way. My ex had decamped to parts unknown five years ago after signing the divorce papers and I’d been so busy rebuilding my life that adding any kind of relationship to it wasn’t even a notion. Besides, with my hovering parents, one of whom worked for me while the other popped in daily to check up on their only daughter, I had enough on my plate fending off the men they wanted to introduce me to. Guys who, for the most part, had shady lifestyles, carried concealed, and owed my father innumerable favors. And by favors I mean the kind that usually get signed for in blood and paid back the same way.

Welcome to mia familia.

Buy Links:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Nook // Google Play ( books) // Kobo

 

 

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A visit with #WildRosePress author Tena Stetler

It’s always a treat for me when a Wild Rose Press sistah drops by to chat – especially when it’s to chat about books and new releases! Today, Tena Stetler drops by to discuss her newest release A MAGIC REDEMPTION, book 5 in A Demon’s Witch series.  It’s in my Kindle queue and I can’t wait to start it! Sit back and let’s listen to Tena…

Good Morning Peggy. Thanks for inviting me over to talk about my new release A Magic Redemption. I am so excited!

Synn the heroine of A Magic Redemption, fifth book of A Demon’s Witch Series, bounced into being during the writing of A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance. I was surprised to see her transformation from a controlled warrior assassin that finally failed to do her master’s bidding. Then she risked her life to share important information to Bruce, the Demon Overlord for the Western Hemisphere for the benefit of man and magic kind. In exchange she was given her freedom and discovered what it was like to be part of a family again.

She was much more of a spit-fire than I imagined. Not having given it much thought until my editor, Lill, asked me what happened to Synn and Gavin at the end of A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance. It gave me pause, until Synn danced through my mind, tapping her tiny foot and demanding that I write her story. Now! Gavin took flight right behind her in support of her demands. What choice did I have? A Magic Redemption was born.

I hope the readers have as much fun reading her story as I did writing it.

(Peggy here – I am sure we all will!!!)

A MAGIC REDEMPTION by Tena Stetler

Blub:

Synn, a demon, carries extraordinary magic and power, but there is more within her than she dreams. Kidnapped as a child, her captors murdered her family and forced her into training as a warrior assassin. When an assignment goes horribly wrong, she finds herself at the mercy of the friends and family of her intended target.  Offering valuable information in exchange for protection, she gains her freedom, but it is not without its challenges.

Gavin Shaughnessy is the publican at his family’s Irish pub.  He is certain Synn is meant to be his and isn’t bothered by her past.  He must find a way to convince her, their future together is stronger than the dark memories that haunt her dreams.

When her past comes calling for revenge, will their love survive the raging inferno she brings down upon them? Or will the searing path of destruction destroy all they hold dear?

Exclusive Excerpt:

Darkness engulfed her. The voices in her head returned calling her a traitor suggesting retribution would be sweet and exacted soon. She fought against the words and covered her ears. As suddenly as the booming words came, it was silent. The dream shifted to a dank room, without windows, or light, and a darkness she could almost feel. Scraping sounds against a large wooden plank door grated on her nerves.

Magic failed her leaving her drained and unresponsive. She curled up in a fetal position. Baltizar’s voice whispered again in her mind. “I still control you. They’re all going to die a horrible death at my hands. You will get to watch. Just like when you failed to save your family.”

His wicked laugh echoed though her mind and faded. A warm liquid flowed over her hands. She looked down. They were covered in blood. Bodies were strewn over what looked like the dirt floor of a cave. Screaming, she awoke soaked with sweat, head pounding and blood trickled from her palms where her finger nails had sliced through the skin.

A loud bark came from the foot of her bed. She stumbled out of bed and rushed to Storm’s crate, knelt, and yanked open the door. A warm, fur ball bounded into her lap, the dog covered her face with kisses. She sat on the floor, tears streaming down her face dripping on the soft fur she buried her face in.

Never allowed to cry, she allowed the flood gates open, and cried for her family, mistakes made, decisions forced upon her, and wished she’d died in the battle with Baltizar. She wouldn’t be responsible for the deaths of her new friends, Gavin and his family, or Storm.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/lELj0amtkk8

Buy Links:
Available from Amazon,   Amazon UK, Amazon AU, Amazon CA,   itunes, The Wild Rose Press, Barnes and Noble  coming soon to Wal-mart.com

About the Author:

Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance. She has an over-active imagination, which led to writing her first vampire romance as a tween to the chagrin of her mother and delight of her friends. After many years as a paralegal, then an IT Manager, she decided to live out her dream of pursuing a publishing career.

With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of witches, shapeshifters, demons, faeries, and gryphons, with a Navy SEAL or two mixed in telling their tales. Her books tell stories of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, adventure and a bit of mystery flourish in her books along with a few companion animals to round out the tales.

Colorado is home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. When she’s not writing, her time is spent kayaking, camping, hiking, biking or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors. During the winter you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn. Visit Tena’s website at http://www.tenastetler.com where you’ll find links to all of her books, blog and pictures of recent travels and setting of her books.

Find Tena HERE:

Website //Authors’ Secret’s Blog // My Say What Blog // Facebook //Twitter //Goodreads // The Wild Rose Press // Amazon // Newsletter // Pinterest //Triberr// BoobBub // Instagram

 

 

 

 

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A visit with my good friend and author, Gina Leuci

I am so pleased today to have one of my favorite people, favorite authors, and much-loved NHRWA chapter-mate, Gina Leuci, visiting me! She’s got a brand new book out from The Wild Rose Press and she’s here today to give us the 411 about it. CAPTIVE HEARTS is the continuation of last year’s release CAGED SOULS – a book I devoured in one afternoon because I simply could not put it down!!! I’m planning to free-up another afternoon for CAPTIVE HEARTS as soon as it downloads on my Kindle! Here’s Gina – show her some love and support, peeps!

Thank you, Peggy, for hosting me today as I celebrate the release of Captive Hearts, book two in my Well of Lies series. This story was incredibly fun to write. The characters spoke to me constantly, and there were days when I would be at my day job with the next scene forming in my head, that I would grab scraps of paper to get the proper wording down while it was fresh so I could go home and write late into the night. I got to the point where I was afraid to write anymore because the story had become so massive that I was way over my word count, but my critique group told me to keep writing and let the story out, editing would come later. They were right, of course. In the end, there was a natural place to split the book at the middle of the story.

First a quick recap: in Caged Souls, we meet Grace and her friends who decide to go on a summer internship from their hometown in Vermont to a farming community in Pennsylvania, where they believe they will be living off the grid – no phones, no internet – for a summer working farms and playing with horses. When they arrive in the town of Wellington, gates lock behind them and they are forced to wear electronic tracking braces and Grace is quick to realize she is trapped and not allowed to leave. Despite the attention and pursuit of the Town Manager’s son, Grace finds herself attracted to the Police Chief, Caleb, whose job is to keep her from going home. At the conclusion of Caged Souls, Caleb agrees to help Grace to escape the locked community.

So that brings us to Captive Hearts, which starts where we left off. Despite the promise of a return home, Grace and Caleb are very quick to discover that the members of the town council will go to any and all lengths to keep those inside the gates from leaving. Without giving away too many spoilers, I will say that security is increased and even the police chief is put onto high security watch, making escape for either of them near impossible. Being forced to live in close proximity, the two fall in love, but they both know Grace needs to go home to her family in Vermont, and Caleb has his own family behind those gates. Happily ever after seems an impossibility for them.

 

CAPTIVE HEARTS by Gina Leuci ( A Well of Lies, Book Two)

Blurb:

Grace Adams has discovered the true reason she was brought to the gated town of Wellington. Now she wants to leave more than ever. With the security level of the town raised to fortress level she is forced to marry the town’s police chief. Hoping to gain the trust of the townsfolk, they pretend to make their marriage look real. It isn’t long before their game of deceit and reality blur together.

When Police Chief Caleb Wellington returned to his hometown, he had his own reasons for increasing the town’s security. Now, he sees the town for what it is: a prison. His relationship with Grace opens feelings he hasn’t had in a while. The last thing he wants to do is say goodbye. But he made a promise to get her home and he is a man of his word.

Excerpt:

Caleb shifted again as he reached over and took another sip of tea. “I’ve been giving that some thought. Do you remember what you said to me on your second day here?” He shook his head. “Probably not, you were stoned. Anyway, you said you needed to pretend to fit in so no one would know you planned to escape.”

I remembered making that plan with Jake, I didn’t remember spilling that to the chief.

He continued. “I think we should pretend to get along. Build trust. Act as though we are trying to make our marriage work.”

I swallowed, but had no saliva left. I grabbed my tea and gulped down the now tepid, bitter liquid. “How far are you planning on taking the farce?”

“Don’t go down that road, Grace,” he said softly. “You know I won’t disrespect you.”

 

About the Author:

Gina Leuci started reading romance at the age of thirteen and never stopped. She met her soul mate on a blind date and married him – not once, but twice: they eloped then had a church wedding, giving them two anniversaries to celebrate. They live in Southern New Hampshire with their son who makes them laugh every day, and two dogs who vie for control as queen of the residence.

Visit Gina at: www.ginaleuci.com or facebook: www.facebook.com/GinaLeuciAuthor

And look for book 1, CAGED SOULS

Plus, here’s my review of  Caged Souls. And a spoiler: it’s a 5star review!!!

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When saying “no” is a good thing…

Just as an aside, I am a member of an on-line chapter in my RWA organization, the Contemporary Romance Writers. Since this is what I write, it makes sense I’m a member, no? Hee hee.

CRWA has a blog that many of the members contribute to, including myself,  and the other day a new post was presented that I swear on everything that’s holy was written exactly for me. I  know it wasn’t – but it really could have been, because it was posted at a time when I was struggling with whether or not to compromise something I’d written just in order for it to be sold.

This is the post :Its’s Okay to Say No, written by  author Brighton Walsh. The gist of the article is that you should never say a yes when you’re feeling a no to a writing situation. As an author – and still one who is relatively unknown – this hit home for me. Hard.

Let me e’splain it Lucy….

I received a phone call – yes, really A phone call, not an email!!! from someone in the publishing industry the other day to whom I’d cold-sent a new manuscript proposal. (Cold sent  is what over the transom means nowadays. It’s basically an unsolicited email about a manuscript). This person called me and was utterly professional, very forthcoming and sincere, and really, really lovely and nice as he/she went about telling me everything that was wrong with my proposal and how I had to change it to make it something he/she could even consider worthwhile to try and sell. Everything from my character names, to their professions, even the plot arc of the book series was “weak” and cliched and needed to be tightened up. I was told that if I wanted to make all those changes  and did – I could feel free to send along the new proposal and manuscript for re-review.

So here are the emotions that went barreling through me at that call: ( in order of their appearance!)

  • thrilled to have been called and not summarily sent a form email
  • nervous
  • hopeful
  • anxious
  • doubting myself as a writer
  • depressed
  • flummoxed

When the call ended I seriously don’t think I took a breath for a few moments.

Here’s the thing: I lovelovelove the story I wrote. truly. It’s got one of my favorite heroine/hero couples that I’ve ever written and every point in the story from their careers to the story arc is exactly how I wanted their story to unfold.

But this in-the-know person in the industry was saying if I made these changes the book might have a chance of being sold to a publisher.

See my dilemma?

Was I willing to change almost everything I’d written with the story just on the slim marginal chance it would be published? Was I willing to sacrifice a storyline and an entire series plot arc, rename characters and change their professions, just to get the story published? Was I willing to abandon all that I’d written and tailor-make it to someone else’s specifications inorder for my words to see print commercially?

I seriously gave myself a stomach and headache that afternoon from all the angst ripping through me.

And then I saw the new CRWA blog post.

After reading it, it was as if the sky had opened up and was shining after a downpour had moved through and darkened it. A little dramatic, but true. I was able to breathe again. My headache disappeared and my stomach pains went the way of the dinosaur. My decision has been made and I think you can guess what it was.

I’ve been talking a great deal about angels lately and how I think they are surrounding me and sending me messages almost daily. I truly believe that blog post was something I was meant to read and learn from. And, just BTW, it’s a really good blog post! You should read it because it can be interpreted for way more things than just writing.

The power of saying No to something that just doesn’t feel right deep down in  your soul, is an amazing sensation.  As women we need to learn to do that more often, especially if saying yes means we have to compromise our integrity. As writers, new and even established, no is a word that doesn’t get said enough.

If my story never gets sold commercially, that will be okay with me, because with all the options of self publishing available these days, I know I could release it on my own.

The power of NO. It’s, as Martha says,  a Good Thing.

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